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EX-31.2 - EXHIBIT 31.2 - NATIONAL SECURITY GROUP INCexhibit31212-31x2015.htm
EX-31.1 - EXHIBIT 31.1 - NATIONAL SECURITY GROUP INCexhibit31112-31x2015.htm
EX-32.1 - EXHIBIT 32.1 - NATIONAL SECURITY GROUP INCexhibit32112-31x2015.htm
EX-21.1 - EXHIBIT 21.1 - NATIONAL SECURITY GROUP INCexhibit211-12x31x2015.htm

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

 
FORM 10-K

 
 (Mark One)
þ
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal Period Ended December 31, 2015

or      
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from           to          .

Commission File Number 0-18649


The National Security Group, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware
 
63-1020300
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 
(IRS Employer
Identification No.)
 
 
 
661 East Davis Street
Elba, Alabama
 
36323
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip-Code)
 
Registrant’s Telephone Number including Area Code (334) 897-2273

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 (b) of the Act:
 
None
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 (g) of the Act:
 
Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share        The NASDAQ Global Market (EXCHANGE)

           
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  o    No  þ

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes  o    No  þ

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  þ    No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).     Yes þ    No o

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definition of “large accelerated filler,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer    o  Accelerated filer  o  Non-accelerated filer o Smaller Reporting Company þ

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o
    No  þ

The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter, based upon the bid price of these shares on NASDAQ on such date, was $23,502,497

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer's classes of Common Stock, as of the close of the period covered by this report.



Class
 
Outstanding March 18, 2016
 
 
 
Common Stock $1.00 par value
 
2,512,425 shares




1


THE NATIONAL SECURITY GROUP, INC.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Page No.
PART I
 
PART II
 
               Disclosure
PART III
 
PART IV
 
 
 
 
 
Certifications
 


DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

1.
Definitive proxy statement for the 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held May 20, 2016 is incorporated by reference into Part III of this report. The proxy statement will be filed no later than 120 days from December 31, 2015.

2.
Current Report on Form 8-K for event occurring on February 26, 2016 is incorporated into Part IV of this report.


2


PART I

Item 1. Business
Summary Description of The National Security Group, Inc.

The National Security Group, Inc. (the Company, NSG, we, us, our), an insurance holding company, was incorporated in Delaware on March 20, 1990. Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol NSEC.

Pursuant to regulations of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), we are considered a “Smaller Reporting Company” as defined by SEC rules. We have elected to utilize an “a la carte” scaled disclosure which permits smaller reporting companies to elect to comply with scaled financial and non-financial disclosure requirements on an item by item basis. The most significant reporting difference permitted under the scaled disclosures, which we have utilized, is to include two years of audited financial statements.

The Company, through its three wholly owned subsidiaries, operates in two industry segments: property and casualty insurance and life insurance.

The property and casualty subsidiaries of the Company, National Security Fire and Casualty (NSFC), and Omega One Insurance Company (Omega), primarily write personal lines dwelling coverage including dwelling fire and windstorm, homeowners and mobile homeowners lines of insurance in ten states. Property and casualty insurance is the most significant industry segment, accounting for 90.3% of total premium revenues.

The Company's life insurance subsidiary, National Security Insurance Company (NSIC), offers a basic line of life and health and accident insurance products in seven states.

The majority of our assets and investments are held in the insurance company subsidiaries.

The Company's website address is: www.nationalsecuritygroup.com. The “Investors” section of our website (http://www.nationalsecuritygroup.com/public/Investors/Investors.aspx) provides numerous resources for investors seeking additional information about us. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and our current reports on Form 8-K are made available on our website soon after filing with the SEC. Additionally, stock trades by insiders as filed on Forms 3, 4, and 5 are posted to the website after filing with the SEC. The website also provides information regarding corporate governance, stock quotes and press releases. Investors are encouraged to visit our website for additional information about the Company.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Any statement contained in this report which is not a historical fact, or which might otherwise be considered an opinion or projection concerning the Company or its business, whether expressed or implied, is meant as and should be considered a forward-looking statement as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following report contains forward-looking statements that are not strictly historical and that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements include any statements containing the words “expect,” “plan,” “estimate,” “anticipate” or other words of a similar nature. Management cautions investors about forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve certain evaluation criteria, such as risks, uncertainties, estimates, and/or assumptions made by individuals informed of the Company and industries in which we operate. Any variation in the preceding evaluation criteria could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the following:

The insurance industry is highly competitive and the Company encounters significant competition in all lines of business from other insurance companies. Many of the competing companies have more abundant financial resources than the Company.

Insurance is a highly regulated industry. It is possible that legislation may be enacted which would have an adverse effect on the Company's business.

The Company is subject to regulation by state governments for each of the states in which it conducts business. The Company cannot predict the subject of any future regulatory initiative(s) or its (their) impact on the Company's business. Company insurance rates are also subject to approval by state insurance departments in each of these states. We are often limited in the level of rate increases we can obtain.

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The Company is rated by various insurance rating agencies. If a rating is downgraded from its current level by one of these agencies, sales of the Company's products and stock price could be adversely impacted.

The Company's financial results are adversely affected by increases in policy claims received by the Company. While a manageable risk, this fluctuation is often unpredictable.
  
The Company's investments are subject to a variety of risks. Investments are subject to defaults and changes in market value. Market value can be affected by changes in interest rates, market performance and the economy.

The Company mitigates risk associated with life policies through implementing effective underwriting and reinsurance strategies. These factors mitigate, not eliminate, risk related to mortality and morbidity exposure. The Company has established reserves for claims and future policy benefits based on amounts determined by independent actuaries. There is no assurance that these estimated reserves will prove to be sufficient or that the Company will not incur claims exceeding reserves, which could result in operating losses and loss of capital.

The Company mitigates risk associated with property and casualty policies through implementing effective underwriting and reinsurance strategies. The Company obtains reinsurance which increases underwriting capacity and limits the risk associated with policy claims. The Company is subject to credit risk with regard to reinsurers as reinsurance does not alleviate the Company's liability to its insured's for the ceded risks. The Company utilizes a third-party to develop a reinsurance treaty with reinsurers who are reliable and financially stable. However, there is no guarantee that booked reinsurance recoverable will actually be recovered. A reinsurer's insolvency or inability to make payments due could have a material adverse impact on the financial condition of the Company.

The Company's ability to continue to pay dividends to shareholders is contingent upon profitability and capital adequacy of the insurance subsidiaries. The insurance subsidiaries operate under regulatory restrictions that could limit the ability to fund future dividend payments of the Company. An adverse event or series of events could materially impact the ability of the insurance subsidiaries to fund future dividends, and consequently, the Board of Directors would have to suspend the declaration of dividends to shareholders.

The Company is subject to the risk of adverse settlements or judgments resulting from litigation of contested claims. It is difficult to predict or quantify the expected results of litigation because the outcome depends on decisions of the court and jury that are based on facts and legal arguments presented at the trial.


Industry Segment and Geographical Area Information

Property and Casualty Insurance Segment
The Company's property and casualty insurance business is conducted through National Security Fire & Casualty Company (NSFC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company organized in 1959, and Omega One Insurance Company (Omega), a wholly owned subsidiary of National Security Fire & Casualty Company organized in 1992. This segment will be referred to throughout this report as NSFC, property-casualty segment or P&C segment. NSFC is licensed to write property and casualty insurance in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, and operates on a surplus lines basis in the state of Louisiana. Omega is licensed to write insurance in Alabama and Louisiana.


4


The following table indicates allocation percentages of direct written premium by state for the two years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014:
State
 
Percent of Direct Written Premium
 
 
2015
 
2014
Alabama
 
$
17,232,000


28.52
%
 
$
17,244,000


29.26
%
Arkansas
 
2,445,000


4.05
%
 
2,657,000


4.51
%
Georgia
 
7,205,000


11.92
%
 
6,488,000


11.01
%
Louisiana
 
7,188,000


11.90
%
 
7,312,000


12.41
%
Mississippi
 
10,852,000


17.96
%
 
10,751,000


18.24
%
Oklahoma
 
5,699,000


9.43
%
 
4,812,000


8.17
%
South Carolina
 
6,400,000


10.59
%
 
6,236,000


10.58
%
Tennessee
 
3,402,000


5.63
%
 
3,426,000


5.82
%
 
 
$
60,423,000


100.00
%
 
$
58,926,000


100.00
%

In general, the property-casualty insurance business involves the transfer by the insured, to an insurance company of all or a portion of certain risks for the payment, by the insured, of a premium to the insurance company. A portion of such risks is often retained by the insured in the form of deductibles, which vary from policy to policy, but are typically in the range of $500 to $1,000 on NSFC and Omega's primary dwelling property and homeowners lines of business.

The premiums or payments to be made by the insured for insurance policies of the property and casualty subsidiaries are based upon expected costs of providing benefits, underwriting and administering the policies. In determining the premium to be charged, the property and casualty subsidiaries utilize data from past claims experience, modeled catastrophe losses and anticipated claims estimates along with catastrophe reinsurance cost, commissions, taxes and general expenses.

The operating results of the property-casualty insurance industry are subject to significant fluctuations from quarter-to-quarter and from year-to-year. These fluctuations are often due to the effect of competition on pricing, unpredictable losses incurred in connection with weather-related and other catastrophic events, general economic conditions and other factors, such as changes in tax laws and the regulatory environment.

The following table sets forth the premiums earned (net of reinsurance) and pretax income during the periods reported for the property and casualty insurance segment:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Net premiums earned:

 

Fire, allied lines and homeowners
$
53,252,000

 
$
50,202,000

Other
(90,000
)
 
77,000

Total net earned premium
$
53,162,000

 
$
50,279,000

Income before taxes
$
7,070,000

 
$
11,527,000


Property and Casualty Loss Reserves
Our property and casualty insurance subsidiaries are required to maintain reserves to cover their ultimate liability for losses and adjustment expenses. Our staff periodically conducts reviews throughout the year of projected loss development information in order to adjust estimates. The liability for loss and adjustment expense reserves consists of an estimated liability for the ultimate settlement of claims that have been reported as well as an estimate of loss and adjustment expenses for incurred claims that have not yet been reported (IBNR). IBNR estimates are based primarily on historical development patterns using quantitative data generated from statistical information and qualitative analysis of legal developments, economic conditions and development caused by events deemed to be infrequent in occurrence. The reserves are based on an estimate made by management. Management estimates are based on an analysis of historical paid and incurred loss development patterns for the previous ten loss years. Prior year period-to-period loss development factors are applied to latest reported loss reserve estimates in order to estimate the ultimate

5


incurred losses for each given loss year. The amount of loss reserves estimated in excess of current reported case losses are recorded as IBNR reserves.

In addition to loss and loss adjustment expense reserves for specific claims, both reported and unreported, we establish reserves for loss adjustment expenses that are not attributable to specific claims. These reserves consist of estimates for Defense and Cost Containment (DCC) and Adjusting and Other Expenses (AO). These reserves are established for the estimated expenses of internal claims staff and the cost of outside experts, such as attorneys representing our interest, in the final settlement of incurred claims that are still in process of settlement. We conduct annual and interim reviews over the course of each year in order to insure that no significant changes have occurred in our loss development that might adversely impact our loss reserving methodology.

The following Loss Reserve Re-estimates table illustrates the change over time of the net reserves established for property-liability insurance claims and claims expense at the end of the last 10 calendar years. The first section shows the reserves as originally reported at the end of the stated year. The second section, reading down, shows retroactive re-estimates of the original recorded reserve as of the end of each successive year. These re-estimates are the result of the Company's expanded awareness of additional facts and circumstances that pertain to the unsettled claims. The third section, reading down, shows the cumulative amounts paid as of the end of successive years with respect to that year's reserve liability. The last section compares the latest re-estimated reserve to the reserve originally established and indicates whether the original reserve was adequate to cover the estimated costs of unsettled claims. The Loss Reserve Re-estimates table is cumulative, and therefore, ending balances should not be added since the amount at the end of each calendar year includes activity for both the current and prior years.

While the information in the table provides a historical perspective on the adequacy of unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses established in previous years, it should not be assumed to be predictive of redundancies or deficiencies on current year unpaid losses in future periods. Company management believes that the reserves established at the end of 2015 are adequate. However, due to inherent uncertainties in the loss reserve estimation process, management cannot guarantee that current year reserve balances will prove to be adequate. Due to the relatively short tail nature of the property and casualty subsidiaries' claim liabilities, the Company does not discount loss reserves for the time value of money. Dollar amounts in the following table are in thousands.

Gross unpaid losses per
2005
 
2006
 
2007
 
2008
 
2009
 
2010
 
2011
 
2012
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
     Consolidated Balance Sheet
$
19,511

 
$
12,498

 
$
11,973

 
$
14,436

 
$
12,646

 
$
13,184

 
$
14,386

 
$
11,214

 
$
8,734

 
$
8,321

 
$
9,645

Ceded reserves
 
(8,560
)
 
(1,783
)
 
(555
)
 
(2,421
)
 
(549
)
 
(1,329
)
 
(2,381
)
 
(1,229
)
 
(782
)
 
(839
)
 
(1,381
)
Net unpaid losses
 
$
10,951

 
$
10,715

 
$
11,418

 
$
12,015

 
$
12,097

 
$
11,855

 
$
12,005

 
$
9,985

 
$
7,952

 
$
7,482

 
$
8,264

Cumulative net payments:
1 year later
$
7,384

 
$
6,438

 
$
4,797

 
$
5,636

 
$
5,349

 
$
5,738

 
$
4,035

 
$
4,827

 
$
2,900

 
$
2,990

 
 
 
2 years later
9,063

 
8,103

 
6,496

 
6,350

 
6,305

 
7,239

 
5,346

 
6,670

 
3,539

 
 
 
 
 
3 years later
10,198

 
9,652

 
6,767

 
6,725

 
6,764

 
7,841

 
6,483

 
7,426

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4 years later
11,439

 
10,094

 
6,976

 
6,980

 
7,244

 
8,382

 
7,001

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5 years later
11,763

 
10,360

 
7,202

 
7,295

 
7,701

 
8,419

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6 years later
11,900

 
10,662

 
7,213

 
7,390

 
7,725

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7 years later
12,012

 
10,810

 
7,156

 
7,406

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8 years later
12,141

 
10,015

 
7,164

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
9 years later
11,345

 
10,022

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10 years later
11,345

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net Liability re-estimated:
1 year later
11,844

 
11,817

 
9,046

 
9,438

 
8,621

 
11,443

 
9,606

 
9,354

 
6,698

 
5,597

 
 
 
2 years later
11,827

 
11,061

 
8,739

 
7,916

 
8,869

 
11,064

 
8,439

 
9,360

 
5,185

 
 
 
 
 
3 years later
12,161

 
11,121

 
7,739

 
8,179

 
9,033

 
9,725

 
8,500

 
8,483

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4 years later
12,337

 
10,792

 
7,792

 
8,514

 
8,418

 
9,178

 
7,661

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5 years later
12,178

 
11,089

 
8,010

 
7,855

 
8,064

 
8,854

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6 years later
12,372

 
11,413

 
7,636

 
7,641

 
8,092

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7 years later
12,699

 
11,175

 
7,577

 
7,707

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8 years later
12,451

 
10,236

 
7,390

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
9 years later
11,522

 
10,038

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10 years later
11,345

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cumulative redundancy (deficiency)
$
(394
)
 
$
677

 
$
4,028

 
$
4,308

 
$
4,005

 
$
3,001

 
$
4,344

 
$
1,502

 
$
2,767

 
$
1,885

 
 

6


Our reported results, financial position and liquidity could be affected by changes in key assumptions that determine our loss reserves. The table below illustrates the change to equity that would occur as a result of a change in loss reserves and reserves for loss adjustment expense:
 
For The Years Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Change in Loss and LAE Reserves
Adjusted Loss and LAE Reserves
% Change in Equity
 
Adjusted Loss and LAE Reserves
% Change in Equity
*Loss and LAE reserves are in thousands
(10.0)%
$
8,681

2.15%
 
$
7,489

1.95%
(7.5)%
8,922

1.61%
 
7,697

1.46%
(5.0)%
9,163

1.07%
 
7,905

0.97%
(2.5)%
9,404

0.54%
 
8,113

0.49%
Reported
9,645

—%
 
8,321

—%
2.5%
9,886

(0.54)%
 
8,529

(0.49)%
5.0%
10,127

(1.07)%
 
8,737

(0.97)%
7.5%
10,368

(1.61)%
 
8,945

(1.46)%
10.0%
10,610

(2.15)%
 
9,153

(1.95)%

While our reserve estimates have had more significant variability in the past, we believe that the scenarios presented above are most reasonable as our methodology has become more seasoned, and we have maintained continuity of staff involved in the reserving process.

Life Insurance Segment
National Security Insurance Company (NSIC), a wholly owned subsidiary organized in 1947, conducts the Company's life insurance business. This segment will be referred to throughout this report as NSIC, Life Company, or Life segment. NSIC is licensed to write insurance in seven states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

The following table indicates NSIC's percentage of direct premiums collected by state for the two years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014:
State
 
Percentage of Total Direct Premiums
 
 
2015
 
2014
Alabama
 
$
3,710,000

 
58.10
%
 
$
3,827,000

 
58.63
%
Florida
 
67,000

 
1.04
%
 
74,000

 
1.14
%
Georgia
 
1,338,000

 
20.95
%
 
1,352,000

 
20.71
%
Mississippi
 
659,000

 
10.32
%
 
672,000

 
10.30
%
South Carolina
 
413,000

 
6.47
%
 
418,000

 
6.40
%
Tennessee
 
16,000

 
0.25
%
 
9,000

 
0.14
%
Texas
 
183,000

 
2.87
%
 
175,000

 
2.68
%
 
 
$
6,386,000

 
100.00
%
 
$
6,527,000

 
100.00
%
NSIC has two primary methods of distribution of insurance products: independent agents and home service (career) agents.  The independent agent distribution method accounts for 63.9% of total premium revenue in the life insurance segment. Approximately 200 of the Company's independent agents produced new business during 2015. The home service distribution method of life insurance products accounts for 30.5% of total premium revenue in the life insurance segment. Home service life products consist of products marketed directly at the home or other premises of the insured by an employee agent.  The Company employed four career agents and one regional manager as of December 31, 2015. The remaining 5.6% of premium revenue consists of the following:  a book of business acquired from a state guaranty association in 2000 (0.9%), premium generated through direct sales of school accident insurance (4.3%), and other miscellaneous business serviced directly through the home office (0.4%).


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NSIC's primary products are life insurance, primarily whole life, and health and accident insurance. NSIC does not sell annuities, interest sensitive whole life or universal life insurance products.  Term life insurance policies provide death benefits if the insured's death occurs during the specific premium paying term of the policy.  The policies generally do not provide a savings or investment element included as part of the policy premium.  Whole-life insurance policies demand a higher premium than term life, but provide death benefits which are payable under effective policies regardless of the time of the insured's death and have a savings and investment element which may result in the accumulation of a cash surrender value.  Our accident and health insurance policies provide coverage for losses sustained through sickness or accident and include individual hospitalization and accident policies, group supplementary health policies, and specialty products, such as cancer policies.  Our line of health and accident products feature specified fixed benefits, so rapidly rising health care costs do not have as great an impact on our health and accident line as they do on comparable products offered by other companies. 

The following table displays a schedule of 2015 life segment premium produced by product and distribution method:
Line of Business
 
Home Service Agent
 
Independent Agent
 
Other
Industrial
 
$
56,000

 
$

 
$
34,000

Ordinary
 
1,638,000

 
2,697,000

 
23,000

Group Life
 

 
12,000

 
59,000

A&H Group
 

 

 
270,000

A&H Other
 
247,000

 
1,319,000

 
31,000

Total Premium by Distribution Method
 
$
1,941,000

 
$
4,028,000

 
$
417,000

The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the development of the Life Company's business:
 
Year ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Life insurance in force at end of period:
 
 
 
Ordinary-whole life
$
167,599,000

 
$
173,354,000

Term life
23,340,000

 
20,977,000

Industrial life
17,232,000

 
18,039,000

 
$
208,171,000

 
$
212,370,000

Life insurance issued:
 
 
 
Ordinary-whole life
$
23,000,000

 
$
23,452,000

 
$
23,000,000

 
$
23,452,000

Net premiums earned:
 
 
 
Life insurance
$
4,423,000

 
$
4,483,000

Accident and health insurance
1,877,000

 
1,891,000

 
$
6,300,000

 
$
6,374,000

Life Insurance Segment Reserves
We engage Wakely Actuarial Services of Palm Harbor, Florida as consulting actuary to calculate our reserves for traditional life insurance products. The methodology used requires that the present value of future benefits to be paid under life insurance policies less the present value of future net premiums be calculated. The calculation uses assumptions including estimates of any adverse deviation, investment yields and changes in investment yields, mortality, maintenance expenses and any non-forfeiture options or termination benefits. The assumptions determine the level and sufficiency of reserves which are calculated and reviewed by our consulting actuary at the end of each quarter. The independent consulting actuary also reviews our estimates for other insurance products including claims reserves under accident and health contracts. Management believes that the reserve amounts reflected in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements are adequate.

Investments
A significant percentage of the total income for the Company is tied to the performance of its investments. Assets that will eventually be used to pay reserve liabilities and other policyholder obligations along with Company capital are invested to generate investment income while held by the Company. Our investment income is comprised primarily

8


of interest and dividend income on debt and equity securities and realized capital gains and losses generated by debt and equity securities. At December 31, 2015, cash and investments comprise 81% of total assets, and investment income (including realized gains) comprises 6.2% of total revenues evidencing the significant impact investments can have on financial results. Because the Company's insurance subsidiaries are regulated as to the types of investments they may make and the amount of funds they may maintain in any one type of investment, the Company has developed a conservative value oriented investment philosophy, in order to meet regulatory requirements. The Company's investment goals are to conserve capital resources and assets, obtain the necessary investment income threshold to meet reserves, and provide a reasonable return. Current yield from invested assets and capital appreciation of investments create this return.

Marketing and Distribution
As mentioned earlier in this report, NSIC products are marketed through a field force of agents who are employees of the Life Company and through a network of independent agents. The Company's use of independent agents is expected to be more cost effective in the long term and has become our primary method of distribution over the past decade. In an effort to boost productivity and better educate agents on the products and services of NSIC, the Life Company marketing team travels throughout our service areas holding training sessions for agents.

NSFC and Omega products are marketed through a network of independent agents and brokers, who are independent contractors and generally maintain relationships with one or more competing insurance companies. NSFC employs field marketing representatives who visit in the offices of our independent agent force regularly to give the agents opportunities for feedback. Our NSFC marketing representatives also host training seminars throughout our service areas. The goal of these seminars is to educate the independent agent sales force about our products and services.

Agents receive compensation for their sales efforts. In the case of life insurance agents, compensation is paid in the form of sales commissions plus a servicing commission. Commissions paid by NSIC in 2015 averaged approximately 11.3% of premiums and are generally higher for new business production and decline each year at subsequent renewals. Commissions rates paid by NSFC in 2015 averaged approximately 15% of premiums on both new and renewal business. During 2015, one independent agent, accounted for more than 10% of total net earned premium of the property-casualty insurance subsidiaries. The net earned premium from this general agent totaled $6,344,000 or 11.9% of total P&C segment net earned premium. NSFC also offers a “profit sharing bonus plan” to independent agents in order to promote better field underwriting and encourage retention of profitable business. This plan not only rewards our agents but also enhances profitability by giving the agent a vested interest in our success and also aids in maintaining price stability for all our customers as agents have a financial incentive to use good field underwriting practices when completing an application for insurance.

At December 31, 2015, NSIC employed five career agents and one regional manager. NSIC also had approximately 200 independent agents actively producing new business in seven states. At December 31, 2015, NSFC had contracts with approximately 1,700 independent agencies in eight states.

Competition
In both of our insurance segments, we operate in a very competitive environment. There are numerous insurance companies competing in the various states in which we offer our products. Many of the companies with which we compete are much larger, have significantly larger volumes of business, offer much broader ranges of products and have more significant financial resources than we do. We compete directly with many of these companies, not only in the sale of products to consumers, but also in the recruitment and retention of qualified agents. We believe the main areas in which a smaller company, like us, can compete is in the areas of providing niche products in under-served areas of the insurance market at competitive prices while providing excellent service to our agents and policyholders during the entire insurance product life cycle from policy issuance to final payment of a claim. We pride ourselves on being accessible to our independent agent force and maintain a presence through the efforts of a field marketing staff and easy access to home office staff. We believe we have made significant advancements in developing a competitive advantage, especially over the last decade. We also have longstanding relationships with many of our agents. We believe we compete effectively within the markets we serve and continue to evolve our processes and procedures in order to garner further competitive advantages.

NSFC's primary insurance products are dwelling fire and homeowners, including mobile homeowners. Dwelling fire and homeowners are collectively referred to as the dwelling property line of business. We focus on providing niche insurance products within the markets we serve. We are in the top twenty-five dwelling property insurance carriers in our two largest states, Alabama and Mississippi. However, due to the large concentration of business among the top five carriers, our total market share in the dwelling fire line of business is approximately 2.5% in Alabama and 1.5%

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in Mississippi. In the homeowners line of business, our market share in both Alabama and Mississippi is less than 1%. The homeowners markets are even more concentrated with the top three homeowners carriers in both Alabama and Mississippi controlling approximately 50% of the market share.

We have actively sought competitive advantages over the last decade in the area of technological advancement. Over the last twelve years, we have replaced our primary policy administration systems in both our property and casualty and life insurance subsidiaries.

The property and casualty administration system is an internally developed end-to-end system that we believe enhances our ability to compete with larger carriers in the markets we serve. The system features a web based portal that allows our independent agents to rate, quote and issue policies directly in their office. The system streamlines the underwriting process with automation of many previous manual processes and enhances our agents' ability to provide excellent service to their clients. The system also enhances the efficiency of our underwriting process allowing for a more thorough evaluation of risks.

Our property and casualty claims administration system automates processes and workflows throughout the claims process and provides a single view of the activity that has occurred on a claim.  The system also has an adjuster web portal, which allows adjusters to view policy limits, see reserve history and policy information, and view prior claims and loss history.  Communications between adjusters and examiners are centralized on the web portal allowing for any messages to be viewed securely as part of the claims history.  Computerized issuance of field checks by staff adjusters was also implemented enforcing reserve and policy limits while reducing the error rates of the previously used hand written checks issued in the field.

Regulation
Our insurance subsidiaries are directly regulated by the insurance department in our state of domicile, Alabama. We are subject to the Alabama Insurance Holding Company System Regulatory Act and report to the Alabama Department of Insurance. Consequently, we are subject to periodic examination and regulation under Alabama Insurance Laws. We underwent our latest periodic regulatory examination which concluded in 2015 with no material issues noted and no financial adjustments made as a result of the examination.

Our insurance subsidiaries are also subject to licensing and supervision by the various governmental agencies in the jurisdictions in which we do business. The nature and extent of such regulation varies, but generally has its source in state statutes which bestow regulatory, supervisory and administrative authority to State Insurance Commissioners and their respective insurance departments. The regulations may require the Company to meet and maintain standards of solvency, comply with licensing requirements, periodically examine market conditions and financial activities and report on the condition of operations and finances. In addition, most of our insurance rates are subject to regulation and approval by regulatory authorities within the respective states in which we offer our products.

Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to various statutory restrictions and limitations relating to the payment of dividends or distributions to stockholders. The restrictions are generally based on certain levels of surplus, net income or operating income as determined by statutory accounting practices. Alabama law permits dividends in any year which, together with other dividends made within the preceding 12 months, do not exceed the greater of (1) 10% of statutory surplus as of the end of the preceding year or (2) for property and casualty insurers, statutory net income for the preceding year or for life companies, statutory net gain from operations for the preceding year. Dividends in excess of the restricted amounts are payable only after obtaining expressed regulatory approval. Future dividends from the insurance subsidiaries may be limited by business or regulatory considerations. The Company relies on the ability of the insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends to fund stockholder dividends and for payment of most operating expenses of the group, including interest and principal payments on debt. Further discussion of dividend payment capacity of subsidiaries can be found in Note 12 of the Consolidated Financial Statements included herein.

Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to risk based capital requirements adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). These requirements direct our insurance companies to calculate and report information according to a risk based formula which attempts to measure statutory capital and surplus needs based on the risk in our product mix and investment portfolio. The formula is designed to allow state insurance regulators to identify companies that are potentially inadequately capitalized. Under the formula, the Company calculates Risk Based Capital (RBC) by taking into account certain risks inherent in an insurer's assets, including investments and an insurer's liabilities. Risk based capital rules provide for different levels of action depending on the ratio of a company's total adjusted capital to its “authorized control level” RBC. Based on calculations made by each of our insurance subsidiaries at December 31, 2015, each subsidiary exceeds any levels that would require regulatory actions.

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A.M. Best Rating
A.M. Best Company is a leading provider of insurance company financial strength ratings and insurance company issuer credit ratings. Best's financial strength ratings and issuer credit ratings provide an independent opinion based on comprehensive quantitative and qualitative evaluation of a company's balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile. All of our insurance companies have been assigned ratings by A.M. Best Company (Best).  On February 10, 2016, Best revised the outlook to stable from negative and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of B++ (Good) and the issuer credit rating (ICR) of "bbb" of NSFC. In addition, Best affirmed the FSR of B+(Good) and ICR of "bbb-" of Omega and NSIC. The outlook for these ratings remained stable. Best also revised the outlook to stable from negative and affirmed the ICR of "bb" of the parent holding company, NSEC. For the latest ratings, you can access www.ambest.com.

Demotech Rating
The property and casualty subsidiaries have been assigned ratings by Demotech, Inc. On December 14, 2015, Demotech affirmed a Financial Stability Rating of A (Exceptional) for both NSFC and Omega.

Employees
The Company itself has no management or operational employees. Instead, all human resource activities are within the subsidiary National Security Insurance Company. NSIC employed 85 staff members as of December 31, 2015, none of which were represented by a labor union. The Company and its property and casualty subsidiary have a Management Service Agreement (“Agreement”) with National Security Insurance Company whereby the Company and the property and casualty subsidiaries reimburse NSIC for salaries and expenses of employees provided under the Agreement. Involved are employees in the areas of Underwriting, Customer Service, Policy Services, Accounting, Marketing, Administration, Document Management, Data Processing, Programming, Personnel, Claims, and Management. We consider our employee relations to be good.

Additional information with respect to The National Security Group's Business
We maintain a website (www.nationalsecuritygroup.com). The National Security Group, Inc.'s annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to such reports that we file or furnish pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are available through our website, free of charge, as soon as reasonably practical upon having been electronically filed or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our code of ethical conduct is also available on our website and in print to any stockholder who requests copies by contacting The National Security Group, Attn: Investor Relations, P. O. Box 703, Elba, AL 36323. Any of the materials we file with the SEC may also be read and copied at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20549. Information on the operation of the SEC's Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1.800.SEC.0330. Our periodic reports filed with the SEC, which include Forms 3, 4 and 5, Form 10-K, Form 10-Q, Form 8-K and any amendments thereto may also be accessed free of charge from the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

As a “Smaller Reporting Company,” we are not required to provide any disclosure under Item 1A. In providing these risk factors, we do not represent, and no inference should be drawn, that the disclosures so provided comply with all requirements of Item 1A if we were subject to them. Risk factors are events and uncertainties over which the Company has limited or no control and which can have a material adverse impact on our financial condition or results of operations. We are subject to a variety of risk factors. The following information sets forth our evaluation of the risk factors we deem to be most material. We work to actively manage these risks, but the reader should be cautioned that we are only able to mitigate the impact of most risk factors, not eliminate the risk. Also, there may be other risks which we do not presently deem material that may become material in the future.

Underwriting and product pricing
The insurance subsidiaries maintain underwriting departments that seek to evaluate the risks associated with the issuance of an insurance policy. NSIC accepts standard risks and, to an extent, substandard risks. In the case of the property and casualty subsidiaries, the underwriting staff attempts to assess, in light of the type of insurance sought by an applicant, the risks associated with a prospective insured or insurance situation. The underwriting assessment may involve various components in the risk evaluation process including, but not limited to, potential liability or fire hazards, age of dwelling, loss history, credit history of insured, employment status, location of fire department, home value, home heat source, and general maintenance of the property. In general, the property and casualty subsidiaries specialize in writing nonstandard risks.


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The nonstandard market in which the property and casualty subsidiaries operate reacts to general economic conditions in much the same way as the standard market. When insurers' profits and equity are strong, companies sometimes cut rates or do not seek increases. Also, underwriting rules are less restrictive. As profit and/or capital fall, companies may tighten underwriting rules and seek rate increases. Premiums in the nonstandard market are higher than the standard market because of the increased risk, which generally comprises more frequent claims. Lower valued dwellings and mobile homes often warrant higher premiums because of the nature of the risk. The costs of placing such nonstandard policies and making risk determinations are similar to those of the standard market. The added costs due to more frequent claims servicing are reflected in the generally higher premiums that are charged.

Our ability to maintain profitability is contingent upon our ability to actively manage our rates and our underwriting procedures. Premium rate inadequacy may not become apparent quickly, and we will incur lag-time to correct. If our rates or underwriting processes become inadequate, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted.

Approval of rates
Most lines of business written by our property and casualty insurers are subject to prior approval of premium rates in the majority of the states in which we operate. The process of obtaining regulatory approval can be expensive and time consuming and can impair our ability to make necessary rate adjustments due to changes in loss experience, cost of reinsurance or other factors. If our requests to regulatory bodies for rate increases are not approved in an adequate or timely manner, our results of operations and financial condition may be adversely impacted.

Maintenance of profit margins and potential for margin compression
Our maximum long-term average pretax profit margin on most of our insurance products is approximately five to six percent. In most states, we have limited ability to increase our margins beyond this level for higher risk, and we can incur significant delays in our ability to pass along higher cost that we may incur. Examples of this risk include:

Our catastrophe reinsurance cost is negotiated annually and effective January 1 of each year. The reinsurance market in which we operate is unregulated, and our reinsurance cost is based on negotiated rates that adjust annually. Due to increased frequency of storms over the past decade and cycles of limited reinsurance market capacity, we often experience rate increases in which we have limited ability to negotiate and often cannot include these increases in our rates until the new reinsurance agreement is negotiated. Due to increased cat loads in more storm prone areas, significant year over year increases in cat cost can often temporarily eliminate our profit margins in some areas and significantly compress our overall profit margins priced into our insurance coverages.
We have a geographic concentration in the Southeastern U.S. which is exposed to significant hurricane risk. We believe that we are often not adequately compensated for certain heavily exposed risk through a combination of limits on allowable margin and regulatory delays in obtaining rate increases. We often have to manage these exposures using alternatives to pricing, such as limits on new business production, to help us manage exposure concentrations and protect our capital position.
Due to increasing catastrophe reinsurance cost, we have incurred increases in our reinsurance retentions/deductibles over the past decade. Again, due to limits to profit margins, we are often not adequately compensated for the increased risk associated with these higher reinsurance retentions due to overall limits on margins in some of the states in which we operate.

Reinsurance, risk of loss from catastrophic event and geographic concentration
Both insurance subsidiaries customarily reinsure with other insurers certain portions of the insurance risk. The primary purpose of such reinsurance arrangements is to enable the Company to limit its risk on individual policies, and in the case of property insurance, limit its risk in the event of a catastrophe in various geographic areas. A reinsurance arrangement does not discharge the issuing company from primary liability to the insured, and the issuing company is required to discharge its liability to the insured even if the reinsurer is unable to meet its obligations under the reinsurance arrangements. Reinsurance, however, does make the reinsurer liable to the issuing company to the extent of any reinsurance in force at the time of the loss. Reinsurance arrangements also decrease premiums retained by the issuing company since that company pays the reinsuring company a portion of total premiums based upon the amount of liability reinsured. NSIC generally reinsures all risks in excess of $50,000 with respect to any one insured. NSFC and Omega generally reinsure with third-parties any liability in excess of $225,000 on any single policy. In addition, the property and casualty subsidiaries have catastrophe excess reinsurance, which provided protection in part with respect to aggregate property losses arising out of a single catastrophe, such as a hurricane.


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During 2015, the property and casualty segment maintained a catastrophe contract, which covered losses related to a catastrophic event with multiple policyholders affected. In the event a catastrophe exceeded the $4 million company retention stated in the contract, reinsurers would reimburse the company 100% of gross losses up to the upper limits of the reinsurance agreement, which was $72.5 million in 2015 and 2014. Any losses above the $72.5 million upper limit are the responsibility of our Company. The contract in place during 2015 also allowed one reinstatement for coverage under the contract for a second catastrophic event if needed. This reinsurance structure is expected to remain unchanged in 2016.

The property and casualty subsidiaries utilize our actual in force policy data modeled applying two different industry accepted catastrophe models to structure catastrophe reinsurance and determine upper limits of catastrophe reinsurance agreements. Based on modeling results utilized in 2015 and 2014, the Company was reinsured at approximately a 250 year event level. While this estimate is subject to some uncertainty and model risk, the models indicate that we maintain catastrophe reinsurance upper limits to cover an event that has less than a 0.5% probability of occurring in a given year.

Our inability to procure reinsurance, primarily catastrophe reinsurance, could adversely impact our ability to maintain our level of premium revenue. The increased frequency of catastrophic events also increases our cost of reinsurance pressuring the profit margins of our insurance products. It is generally cost prohibitive to maintain deductibles below levels currently in place. Our current $4 million catastrophe deductible will adversely impact underwriting results in years in which we incur losses from a major hurricane or tornado outbreak.

As described above, we maintain catastrophe reinsurance in amounts that provides protection to the Company's financial condition in all but the most remote likelihood of occurrences. Our most critical catastrophe risk is from hurricanes due to our proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Our results of operations are very likely to be materially impacted in the event of the landfall of a major hurricane striking the Northern Gulf Coast or Southern Atlantic Coast in Georgia or South Carolina where we maintain significant concentrations of business. We are also exposed to the risk of significant tornado activity in many of the states in which we operate. Our most significant catastrophic event risk is the risk of a loss in excess of the Company's upper catastrophe limit which could adversely impact the Company's financial condition if such an event occurs. We are also subject to assessments from windstorm underwriting pools in various states. These risks are often difficult to measure and in the event of a major catastrophe, could exceed the upper limits of our available reinsurance protection. We also face risk from a high frequency of catastrophe events. While these events may not reach the lower limits of our catastrophe reinsurance protection, a large number of smaller events can materially impact our results of operations.

Catastrophe modeling results play a major role in our decision making process regarding the upper limits of our catastrophe reinsurance protection. While the level of sophistication has increased significantly in recent years in the design of computer generated catastrophe modeling, there are risks inherent in the modeling process, and the process continues to evolve. We believe the chance of a catastrophe event exceeding the upper limits of our reinsurance protection is remote; however, with the unpredictability of natural disasters, we are unable to eliminate all risk of exceeding the upper limits of our reinsurance protection. Hurricane Katrina exceeded the upper limits of our coverage in 2005. We have since increased the upper limits of our coverage, but should a future event exceed the upper limits of our reinsurance coverage by a material amount, our financial condition could be adversely impacted.

Climate change
Some scientific evidence supports that there have been and continue to be significant changes in climate including temperature, precipitation and wind resulting from various natural factors, processes, and human activities. Rising temperatures and changes in weather patterns could impact storm frequency and severity in our coverage areas. Increases in storm frequency and severity could negatively impact reinsurance costs impacting product pricing and the areas in which we offer our products. With respect to our property and casualty segment, climate change may impact the types of storms that impact our coverage areas as well as the frequency and severity of storms, thereby impacting reinsurance placement and rates. With respect to our life insurance segment, climate change may impact life expectancies, thereby influencing mortality assumptions used in pricing assumptions and reserve calculations. Climate change could impact future product offerings, exclusions and/or policy limitations.

The Company may be impacted by domestic legislation and regulation related to climate change. Governmental mandates could impede our ability to make a profit with our current product offerings, limit the products we can offer and/or impact the geographic locations in which we offer our products. The impact of climate change cannot be quantified at this time.


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Reserve liabilities
NSIC maintains life insurance reserves for future policy benefits to meet future obligations under outstanding policies. These reserves are calculated to be sufficient to meet policy and contract obligations as they arise. Liabilities for future policy benefits are calculated using assumptions for interest, mortality, morbidity, expense and withdrawals determined at the time the policies were issued. As of December 31, 2015, the total reserves of NSIC (consisting of reserves for accident and health insurance) were approximately $35,159,000. We believe, based on current available information, reserves for future policy benefits are adequate. However, we are currently in a period of persistent low interest rates, and should this period of low rates be sustained over the long term, it can impair our ability to make sufficient returns to cover future policy liabilities. Also, should actual mortality, morbidity, expense or withdrawal assumption differ materially from assumptions, our operating results could be negatively impacted.

The property and casualty subsidiaries are also required to maintain loss reserves (claim liabilities) for all lines of insurance. Such reserves are intended to cover the probable ultimate cost of settling all claims, including those incurred but not yet reported. The reserves of the property and casualty subsidiaries reflect estimates of the liability with respect to incurred claims and are determined by evaluating reported claims on an ongoing basis and by estimating liabilities for incurred but not reported claims. Such reserves include adjustment expenses to cover the cost of investigating losses and defending lawsuits. The establishment of accurate reserves is complicated by the fact that claims in some lines of insurance are settled many years after the policies have been issued, thus raising the possibility that inflation may have a significant effect on the amount of ultimate loss payment, especially when compared to initial loss estimates. The subsidiaries, however, attempt to restrict their writing to risks that settle within one to four years of issuance of the policy. As of December 31, 2015, the property and casualty subsidiaries had reserves for unpaid claims of approximately $9,645,000, before subtracting unpaid claims due from reinsurers of $1,380,000, leaving net unpaid claims of $8,265,000. The reserves are not discounted for the time value of money. No changes were made in the assumptions used in estimating the reserves during the years ending December 31, 2015 or 2014. The Company believes, based on current available information, such reserves are adequate to provide for settlement of claims.

We incur the risk that we may experience excessive losses due to unanticipated claims frequency, severity or both that may not be factored into our loss reserve liabilities. Unexpected frequency and severity can be adversely impacted by outcomes of claims litigation; adverse jury verdicts related to claims settlements and adverse interpretations of insurance policy provisions which result in increased liabilities. We are also subject to the risk of unanticipated assessments from state underwriting associations or windstorm pools related to losses in excess of the associations or pool's ability to pay. Such costs are often allocated to companies operating in the jurisdiction of the association or windstorm pool, and the likelihood and amount of such assessments are difficult to predict. These events could adversely impact our historical loss reserving methodology and cause financial adjustments that could materially impact our financial condition and results of operations.

Financial Ratings
The insurance subsidiaries are rated by the independent insurance rating agencies A.M. Best and Demotech. A downgrade in our ratings from either of these rating agencies could adversely impact our ability to maintain existing business or generate new business. See page 12 of this Form 10-K for additional information on our current financial ratings.

Regulation
The insurance subsidiaries are each subject to regulation by the insurance departments of those states in which they are licensed to conduct business. Although the extent of regulation varies from state to state, the insurance laws of the various states generally establish supervisory departments having broad administrative powers with respect to, among other matters: the granting and revocation of licenses to transact business, the licensing of agents, the establishment of standards of financial solvency (including reserves to be maintained), the nature of investments and in most cases premium rates, the approval of forms and policies, and the form and content of financial statements. The primary purpose of these regulations is the protection of policyholders. Compliance with regulations does not necessarily confer a benefit upon shareholders.

Many states in which the insurance subsidiaries operate, including Alabama, have laws requiring that insurers become members of guaranty associations. These associations guarantee that benefits due policyholders of insurance companies will continue to be provided even if the insurance company which wrote the business is financially unable to fulfill its obligations. To provide these benefits, the associations assess the insurance companies licensed in a state that write the line of insurance for which coverage is guaranteed. The amount of an insurer's assessment is generally based on the relationship between that company's premium volume in the state and the premium volume of all companies writing the particular line of insurance in the state. The Company has paid no material amounts to guaranty

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associations over the past two years. These payments, when made, are principally related to association costs incurred due to the insolvency of various insurance companies. Future assessments depend on the number and magnitude of insurance company insolvencies, and such assessments are therefore difficult to predict.

Most states have enacted legislation or adopted administrative rules and regulations covering such matters as the acquisition of control of insurance companies, transactions between insurance companies and the persons controlling them. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has recommended model legislation on these subjects, and all states where the Company's subsidiaries transact business have adopted, with some modifications, that model legislation. Among the matters regulated by such statutes are the payments of dividends. These regulations have a direct impact on the Company since its cash flow is substantially derived from dividends from its subsidiaries, and adverse operating results in the insurance subsidiaries or the development of significant additional obligations in the holding company could adversely impact liquidity at the holding company level. Statutory limitations of dividend payments by subsidiaries are disclosed in Note 12 of the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements.

While most regulation is at the state level, the federal government has increasingly expressed an interest in regulating aspects of the insurance industry. All of these regulations at various levels of government increase the cost of conducting business through increased compliance expenses. Also, existing regulations are constantly evolving through administrative and court interpretations, and new regulations are often adopted. It is difficult to predict what impact changes in regulation may have on the Company in the future. Changes in regulations could occur that might adversely impact our ability to achieve acceptable levels of profitability and limit our growth.

Competition
The insurance subsidiaries are engaged in a highly competitive business and compete with many insurance companies of substantially greater financial resources, including stock and mutual insurance companies. Mutual insurance companies return profits, if any, to policyholders rather than shareholders; therefore, mutual insurance companies may be able to charge lower net premiums than those charged by stock insurers. Accordingly, stock insurers must attempt to achieve competitive premium rates through greater volume, efficiency of operations and control of expenses.

NSIC primarily markets its life and health insurance products through the home service system and independent producers. Direct competition comes from home service companies and other insurance companies that utilize independent producers to sell insurance products, of which there are many. NSIC's life and health products also compete with products sold by ordinary life companies. NSIC writes policies primarily in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. The market share of the total life and health premiums written is small because of the number of insurers in this highly competitive field. The primary methods of competition in the field are service and price.

Because of the increased costs associated with a home service company, premium rates are generally higher than ordinary products; as a result, competition from these ordinary insurers must be met through service. Initial costs of distribution through independent agents are generally more than through home service distribution methods, but lower commissions are paid in years subsequent to the first year of the policy so costs decline rapidly as policies renew after the first year. The primary factor in controlling cost under the independent agent distribution method is maintaining a high persistency rate. The persistency rate is the rate at which new business is maintained in renewal periods subsequent to the first year. If a high persistency rate can be maintained, the overall costs of distribution are lowered due to lower commission rate payments on policies in force subsequent to the first year.

The property and casualty subsidiaries market their products through independent agents and brokers, concentrating primarily on dwelling fire and homeowners coverage. NSFC, though one of the larger writers of lower value dwelling fire insurance in Alabama, nevertheless faces a number of competitors in this niche market. Moreover, larger general line insurers also compete with NSFC. The market share in states other than Alabama is small. Price is the primary method of competition. Because the Company utilizes independent agents, commission rates and service to the agent are also important factors in whether the independent agent agrees to offer NSFC products over those of its competitors. The Company primarily relies on an established independent agency force to market our insurance products. The loss of independent agents could adversely impact both the retention of existing business and production of new business.

Significant changes in the competitive environment in which we operate could materially impact our financial condition or results of operations.




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Inflation
The Company shares the same risks from inflation as other companies. Inflation causes operating expenses to increase and erodes the purchasing power of the Company's assets. A large portion of the Company's assets is invested in fixed maturity investments. The purchasing power of these investments will be less at maturity because of inflation. This is generally offset by the reserves that are a fixed liability and will be paid with cheaper dollars. Also, inflation tends to increase investment yields, which may reduce the impact of the increased operating expenses caused by inflation.

Investment Risk and Liquidity
Our invested assets are managed by company personnel. The majority of these investments consist of fixed maturity securities. These securities are subject to price fluctuations due to changes in interest rates, and unfavorable changes could materially reduce the market value of the Company's investment portfolio and adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations. Fixed maturity investments are managed in light of anticipated liquidity needs and duration of liabilities. Should we experience a significant change in liquidity needs for any reason, we may be forced to sell fixed maturity securities at a loss to cover these liquidity needs. Changes in general economic conditions, the stock market and various other external factors could also adversely impact the value of our investments and consequently our results of operations and financial condition.

Impact of economic and credit market conditions on our investments
Our investment portfolio is exposed to economic and financial market risks, including changes in interest rates, credit markets and prices of marketable equity and fixed-income securities. Events that unfolded in the latest recession had a material impact on the valuations of our investments. Economic and credit market conditions during the recession adversely affected the ability of some issuers of investment securities to repay their obligations and may further affect the values of investment securities. If the carrying value of our investments exceeds the fair value, and the decline in fair value is deemed to be other-than-temporary, we will be required to write down the value of our investments, which could adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.

Litigation
We are routinely involved in litigation related to our insurance products. Litigation can involve claims for damages in excess of stated policy limits and include damages for bad faith. Defense of these claims can often be expensive adding to our loss adjustment expenses, and adverse jury verdicts could materially impact our results of operations and financial position.
Dependence of the Company on Dividends from Insurance Subsidiaries
The Company is an insurance holding company with no significant operations and limited outside sources of income. The primary asset of the Company is its stock in the insurance subsidiaries. The Company relies on dividends from the insurance subsidiaries in order to pay operating expenses, to service debt obligations and to provide liquidity for the payment of dividends to shareholders. The ability of the insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends is subject to regulatory restrictions discussed in detail in Note 12 of the Consolidated Financial Statements included herein. Should the insurance subsidiaries become subject to restrictions imposed by insurance regulations regarding the payment of dividends, the ability of the Company to pay expenses, meet debt service requirements and pay cash dividends to shareholders could be adversely impacted. Additionally, should business conditions deteriorate, we could be forced to further limit or suspend dividend payments in order to protect our capital position.

Low common stock trading volume and liquidity limitations
We are a small public company with a large percentage of common stock outstanding owned by founding family members, employees, officers and directors. Consequently, our average daily trading volume is very low with no shares traded on some days and only a few hundred shares trading in a typical day. This low trading volume can lead to significant volatility in our share price and limit a shareholders ability to dispose of large quantities of stock in a short period of time.

Debt covenants
Should we become unable to remain current on interest payments on our long-term debt, under our debt covenants, we would be forced to suspend the payment of dividends to stockholders until interest payments are current.

Technology
Our insurance subsidiaries are dependent on computer technology and internet based platforms in the delivery of insurance products. Our ability to innovate and manage technological change is a key to remaining competitive in the insurance industry. A breakdown in major systems or failure to maintain up-to-date technology could adversely impact

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our ability to write new business and service existing policyholders, which would adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition. The occurrence of computer viruses, information security breaches, disasters, or unanticipated events could affect the data processing systems of the Company or its service providers which could damage the Company's business and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Access to capital
We rely on debt and equity capital to operate. Due to a recent litigation settlement, our debt levels are higher than our historical norm. Adverse operating results, general market and economic conditions could impair our ability to raise new capital needed to support our operations.

Key Personnel
As a small company within the insurance industry, we could be adversely impacted by the loss of key personnel. Our ability to remain competitive is contingent upon our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel in all aspects of our operations.

Accounting Standards
Our financial statements are prepared based upon generally accepted accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board along with standards set by other regulatory organizations. We are required to adopt newly issued or revised accounting standards that are issued periodically. Future changes could impact accounting treatment applied to financial statements and could have a material adverse impact on the Company's results of operations and financial conditions. Potential changes in accounting standards that are currently expected to impact the Company are disclosed in the Notes to Financial Statements included herein.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
As a smaller reporting company, the Company is not required to furnish the information required in Item 1B.

Item 2. Properties

Our principal executive offices, owned by NSIC, are located at 661 East Davis Street, Elba, Alabama. The executive offices are shared by the insurance subsidiaries. The building was constructed in 1977 with an addition added in 2008. The executive offices total approximately 30,700 square feet. The Company believes this space to be adequate for our immediate needs.

The Company and its subsidiaries own certain real estate investment properties. The Company owns approximately 211 acres of real estate in Coffee County in Alabama. We also own, through our subsidiary NSFC, approximately 85 acres of undeveloped commercial real estate in Greenville, Alabama. We sell undeveloped lots from this development, and the development has no depreciable improvements. The Company incurred impairment losses totaling $552,000 on investment real estate in 2014.

Capitalized along with the Greenville property are site preparation costs, including clearing, filling and leveling of land. There are no improvements such as paving, parking lots or fencing that would be recorded as land improvements and depreciated over the appropriate useful life.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

The Company and its subsidiaries are named parties to litigation related to the conduct of their insurance operations. Further information regarding details of pending suits can be found in Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

This section is not applicable.

Part II

Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The capital stock of the Company is traded in the NASDAQ Global Market. Quotations are furnished by the National Association of Security Dealers Automated Quotations System (NASDAQ). The trade symbol is NSEC.

17



The following table sets forth the high and low sales prices per share, as reported by NASDAQ, during the period indicated:
 
Stock Closing Prices
 
2015
 
2014
 
High
 
Low
 
High
 
Low
  First Quarter
$
14.31

 
$
12.82

 
$
10.65

 
$
7.95

  Second Quarter
$
16.32

 
$
13.85

 
$
12.57

 
$
9.70

  Third Quarter
$
16.41

 
$
12.51

 
$
13.00

 
$
10.53

  Fourth Quarter
$
15.16

 
$
13.12

 
$
15.25

 
$
12.50


Shareholders
The number of shareholders of the Company's common stock was approximately 1,200, and the Company had 2,512,425 shares of common stock outstanding on March 18, 2016.

Dividends
The following table sets forth quarterly dividend payment information for the Company for the periods indicated:
 
Dividends Per Share
 
2015
 
2014
  First Quarter
$
0.04

 
$
0.03

  Second Quarter
$
0.04

 
$
0.03

  Third Quarter
$
0.04

 
$
0.03

  Fourth Quarter
$
0.04

 
$
0.03

Discussion regarding dividend restrictions may be found on page 36 of the Managements' Discussion and Analysis as well as in Note 12 of the Consolidated Financial Statements.

The payment of shareholder dividends is subject to the discretion of our Board of Directors and is dependent upon many factors including our operating results, financial condition, capital requirements and general economic conditions. Total shareholder dividends paid in 2015 totaled $402,000.

Future dividends are dependent on future earnings, the Company's financial condition and other factors evaluated periodically by management and the Board of Directors. The Company is an insurance holding company and depends upon the dividends from the insurance subsidiaries to pay operating expenses and to provide liquidity for the payment of shareholder dividends. The payment of shareholder dividends is subject to the profitability of the insurance subsidiaries and the ability of the insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends to the holding company. Dividends from the insurance subsidiaries are subject to approval of the regulator in the state of domicile, the Alabama Department of Insurance.

Securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans
The Company currently only has one equity compensation plan which was approved by security holders at the 2009 Annual Shareholders Meeting. The following table sets forth securities authorized for issuance under the Company's
equity compensations plans:
Plan category
Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights
(a)
 
Weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights
(b)
 
Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding securities reflected in column (a))
(c)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders

 

 
154,175

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders

 

 

Total

 

 
154,175


18


Item 6. Selected Financial Data

Under smaller reporting company rules we are not required to disclose information required under Item 6. However, in order to provide information to our investors, we have elected to provide certain selected financial data.

Five-Year Financial Information (dollars in thousands, except per share)
Selected Financial Data:
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
Net premiums earned
$
59,462

 
$
56,653

 
$
52,366

 
$
51,815

 
$
56,243

Net investment income
3,462

 
3,823

 
3,746

 
4,191

 
4,261

Net realized investment gains
503

 
100

 
4,439

 
2,790

 
669

Other income
623

 
3,816

 
609

 
720

 
919

Total revenues
$
64,050

 
$
64,392

 
$
61,160

 
$
59,516

 
$
62,092

Net income (loss)
$
4,697

 
$
7,616

 
$
5,658

 
$
(6,671
)
 
$
(4,956
)
Net income (loss) per share
$
1.87

 
$
3.04

 
$
2.28

 
$
(2.70
)
 
$
(2.01
)
Total shareholders' equity
$
44,883

 
$
42,757

 
$
33,472

 
$
30,227

 
$
38,015

Book value per share
$
17.87

 
$
17.05

 
$
13.42

 
$
12.25

 
$
15.41

Dividends per share
$
0.16

 
$
0.12

 
$
0.100

 
$
0.325

 
$
0.550

Net change in unrealized capital gains (losses), net of tax
$
(2,128
)
 
$
2,061

 
$
(2,801
)
 
$
(101,000
)
 
$
1,258

Total assets
$
148,099

 
$
144,865

 
$
133,980

 
$
135,716

 
$
132,951

Quarterly Information:
 Premiums
 
 Investment & Other Income
 
 Realized Investment Gains (Losses)
 
 Claims and Benefit Payments
 
 Net Income (Loss)
 
 Net Income (Loss) Per Share
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  First Quarter
$
14,706

 
$
1,132

 
$
142

 
$
8,262

 
$
1,308

 
$
0.52

  Second Quarter
14,880

 
940

 
245

 
9,435

 
623

 
0.25

  Third Quarter
15,104

 
868

 
130

 
8,170

 
1,616

 
0.64

  Fourth Quarter
14,772

 
1,145

 
(14
)
 
8,281

 
1,150

 
0.46

 
$
59,462

 
$
4,085

 
$
503

 
$
34,148

 
$
4,697

 
$
1.87

2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  First Quarter
$
13,824

 
$
1,102

 
$
88

 
$
7,864

 
$
999

 
$
0.40

  Second Quarter
14,100

 
2,743

 
312

 
9,155

 
1,934

 
0.77

  Third Quarter
14,374

 
982

 
141

 
7,172

 
1,797

 
0.72

  Fourth Quarter
14,355

 
2,727

 
(441
)
 
6,691

 
2,886

 
1.15

 
$
56,653

 
$
7,554

 
$
100

 
$
30,882

 
$
7,616

 
$
3.04


Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Overview
The following discussion highlights significant factors influencing the consolidated financial position and results of operations of The National Security Group, Inc. (referred to in this document as we, our, us, the Company or NSEC) and its subsidiaries. We are a “smaller reporting company” under Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations and therefore qualify for the scaled disclosure of smaller reporting companies. In general, the same information is required to be disclosed in the management discussion and analysis by smaller reporting companies except that the discussion need only cover the latest two year period and disclosures relating to contractual obligations are not required. In accordance with the scaled disclosure requirements, this discussion covers the two year period ended December 31, 2015.

The National Security Group, Inc. is made up of two segments: the Life segment and the P&C segment. The Company's life, accident and health insurance business is conducted through National Security Insurance Company (NSIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company organized in 1947. The Company's property and casualty insurance business

19


is conducted through National Security Fire & Casualty Company (NSFC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company organized in 1959, and Omega One Insurance Company (Omega), a wholly owned subsidiary of National Security Fire & Casualty Company organized in 1992.

This discussion and analysis of the consolidated results of operations and financial condition of the Company should be read in conjunction with the Selected Financial Data and Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes included in this Form 10-K. Please refer to our note regarding forward-looking statements on pages 4-5 of this report.
Information in this discussion is presented in whole dollars rounded to the nearest thousand. Tabular amounts are presented in thousands.

The National Security Group operates in the property and casualty and life, accident and supplemental health insurance businesses and markets products primarily through independent agents.  The Company operates in ten states with 49.0% of total premium revenue generated in the states of Alabama and Mississippi.  Property and casualty insurance is the most significant segment, accounting for 90.3% of gross earned premium revenue in 2015.  Revenue generated from the life segment accounted for 9.7% of gross insurance premium revenue in 2015.

National Security Insurance Company (NSIC) is a life, accident and health insurance company founded in 1947.  All references to NSIC in the remainder of this management discussion and analysis will refer to the combined life, accident and health insurance operations and will compose the life segment of the Company.  NSIC is licensed to underwrite life and accident and health insurance in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

The property and casualty segment consists of the consolidated operations of two subsidiaries, National Security Fire and Casualty Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, Omega One Insurance Company. There is no material differentiation between the products underwritten by NSFC and Omega as both underwrite primarily dwelling personal lines coverage. The Property and Casualty segment has premium in-force in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

All of the insurance subsidiaries are Alabama domiciled insurance companies; therefore, the Alabama Department of Insurance is the primary insurance regulator.  However, each subsidiary is subject to regulation by the respective insurance regulators of each state in which it is licensed to transact business.  Insurance rates charged by each of the insurance subsidiaries are typically reviewed and approved by each insurance department for the respective state in which the rates will apply.

All of our insurance companies have been assigned ratings by A.M. Best Co (Best).  On February 10, 2016, Best affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of B++ (Good) and the issuer credit rating (ICR) of "bbb" of NSFC. In addition, Best affirmed the FSR of B+(Good) and ICR of "bbb-" of Omega and NSIC. The outlook for all of these ratings is stable. Best also affirmed the ICR of "bb" of the parent holding company, NSEC, with a stable outlook. The property and casualty subsidiaries have been assigned ratings by Demotech, Inc. On November 23, 2015, Demotech affirmed a Financial Stability Rating of A (Exceptional) for both NSFC and Omega.

The two primary segments in which we report insurance operations are the personal lines property and casualty segment (NSFC) and the life, accident and health insurance segment (NSIC).  Due to Omega producing no earned premium revenue and the fact that Omega is a wholly owned subsidiary of NSFC authorized to underwrite similar lines of business, all references to NSFC in the remainder of this management discussion and analysis will include the insurance operations of both NSFC and Omega.  Our income is principally derived from net underwriting profits and investment income.  Net underwriting profit is principally derived from earned premiums received less claims paid, sales commissions to agents, costs of underwriting and insurance taxes and fees.  Investment income includes interest and dividend income and gains and losses on investment holdings.

The property and casualty segment can be impacted by severe storm activity resulting in incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses primarily from tornado, wind and hail related damage. These storm systems or other natural disasters are classified as catastrophes (referred to as "cat events" or "catastrophe events" throughout the remainder of this document) by Property Claim Service (PCS) when these events cause $25 million or more in industry wide direct insured losses and affect a significant number of policyholders and insurers.


20


Overview-Year Ended December 31, 2015 compared to Year Ended December 31, 2014

Summary:
For the year ended December 31, 2015, net income for the Company totaled $4,697,000 or $1.87 per share, compared to net income of $7,616,000, $3.04 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2014, a year over year decrease of $2,919,000. Results for 2014 were positively impacted by a gain on company owned life insurance (COLI) of $3,256,000. No COLI gain was realized in 2015. However, when comparing pretax income from operations, which excludes realized capital gains and gain on COLI (both of which can fluctuate significantly from period to period) along with income taxes, our 2015 results were comparable to our results from 2014. Pretax income from operations in 2015 totaled $5,844,000 compared to $6,019,000 in 2014. Pretax income from operations declined only $175,000 in 2015 despite a $2,724,000 year over year increase in catastrophe losses. Offsetting the increase in catastrophe claims was a 5% increase in net premium earned, driven by our P&C subsidiary, coupled with an 8.5% reduction in general and administrative expenses driven by cost reduction efforts in our life subsidiary.

Financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 were as follows:
Consolidated Financial Summary
 
Year ended December 31,
     (dollars in thousands)
 
2015
 
2014
Gross premiums written
 
$
66,809

 
$
65,453

Net premiums written
 
$
60,389

 
$
58,204

 
 
 
 
 
Net premiums earned
 
$
59,462

 
$
56,653

Net investment income
 
3,462

 
3,823

Net realized investment gains
 
503

 
100

Gain on company owned life insurance
 

 
3,256

Other income
 
623

 
560

Total Revenues
 
64,050

 
64,392

Policyholder benefits and settlement expenses
 
34,148

 
30,882

Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs
 
3,510

 
3,590

Commissions
 
7,952

 
7,459

General and administrative expenses
 
8,628

 
9,428

Taxes, licenses and fees
 
2,086

 
2,137

Interest expense
 
1,379

 
1,521

Total Benefits, Losses and Expenses
 
57,703

 
55,017

Income Before Income Taxes
 
6,347

 
9,375

Income tax expense
 
1,650

 
1,759

Net Income
 
$
4,697

 
$
7,616

Income Per Common Share
 
$
1.87

 
$
3.04

Reconciliation of Net Income to non-GAAP Measurement
 
 
 
 
Net income
 
$
4,697

 
$
7,616

Income tax expense
 
1,650

 
1,759

Realized investment gains, net
 
(503
)
 
(100
)
Gain on company owned life insurance
 

 
(3,256
)
Pretax Income From Operations
 
$
5,844

 
$
6,019


Premium Revenue:
For the year ended December 31, 2015, net premiums earned were up $2,809,000 at $59,462,000 compared to $56,653,000 in 2014. The primary reasons for the increase were a 12.2% reduction in catastrophe reinsurance costs coupled with increases in gross earned premium. The increase in gross earned premium was due to growth in P&C segment premium revenue of 3.6% in 2015 compared to 2014.

21



Net Income:
For the year ended December 31, 2015, the Company had net income of $4,697,000, $1.87 per share, compared to net income of $7,616,000, $3.04 per share, for the same period in 2014, a decrease of $2,919,000. The primary reason for the decline in 2015 year to date earnings compared to 2014 was a $3,256,000 gain on company owned life insurance realized during 2014.

Pretax income from operations:
For the year ended December 31, 2015, pretax income from operations was $5,844,000 compared to $6,019,000 for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $175,000. The primary reason for the slight decline in pretax income from operations in 2015 compared to 2014 was an increase in catastrophe related claims in the P&C segment. The P&C segment was impacted by numerous non-hurricane catastrophe events in 2015, the most significant of which was an early October event in South Carolina which generated $1,575,000 in incurred catastrophe losses. In total, catastrophe losses increased policyholder benefits and settlements expenses by $5,373,000 in 2015. The P&C segment ended 2015 with a combined ratio of 91% with catastrophe losses contributing 10.1 percentage points to the combined ratio. In comparison, 2014 cat events added $2,629,000 to prior year policyholder benefits and settlement expenses. The P&C segment ended 2014 with a combined ratio of 87.4% with catastrophe losses contributing 5.2 percentage points to the combined ratio. Offsetting the negative impact of the cat events was an $865,000 decrease in catastrophe reinsurance cost coupled with a 3.6% increase in P&C segment gross earned premiums. Also, due to continued focus on cost reduction measures, we decreased general and administrative expenses by $800,000, primarily in the life insurance subsidiary.

Overview - Balance Sheet highlights at December 31, 2015 compared to December 31, 2014
Selected Balance Sheet Highlights
 
December 31, 2015
 
December 31, 2014
     (dollars in thousands)
 
 
 
 
Invested Assets
 
$
112,557

 
$
109,549

Cash
 
$
6,763

 
$
6,426

Total Assets
 
$
148,099

 
$
144,865

Policy Liabilities
 
$
77,043

 
$
74,115

Total Debt
 
$
18,215

 
$
19,572

Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income
 
$
525

 
$
2,772

Shareholders' Equity
 
$
44,883

 
$
42,757

Book Value Per Share
 
$
17.87

 
$
17.05


Invested Assets:
Invested assets as of December 31, 2015 were $112,557,000 up $3,008,000, or 2.7%, compared to December 31, 2014. The increase in invested assets was primarily due to $6,880,000 in cash flow from operating activities enabling additional investment in the fixed income investment portfolio.

Cash:
The Company, primarily through its insurance subsidiaries, had $6,763,000 in cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2015, compared to $6,426,000 at December 31, 2014. Positive cash flow from insurance operations was the primary contributor to the increase in cash for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Total Assets:
Total assets as of December 31, 2015 were $148,099,000 compared to $144,865,000 at December 31, 2014. Positive cash flow from operations of $6,880,000, primarily generated by the P&C subsidiaries, was the primary contributor to the increase in invested assets and total assets at December 31, 2015.

Policy Liabilities:
Policy liabilities were $77,043,000 at December 31, 2015 compared to $74,115,000 at December 31, 2014; an increase of $2,928,000 or 4.0%. The primary reasons for the increase in policy liabilities in 2015 compared to the same period last year were a $1,324,000 increase in property and casualty loss reserves as well as a $999,000 increase in unearned premium reserves. Property and casualty loss reserves were up 15.9% in 2015 compared to 2014 primarily due to

22


an increase in storm claims during the fourth quarter of 2015. Unearned premium was up 3.5% as a result of a moderate increase in P&C segment gross written premium.

Debt Outstanding:
Total debt at December 31, 2015 was $18,215,000 compared to $19,572,000 at December 31, 2014. Debt was reduced $1,357,000 during 2015 with the primary reason being the reduction of long term debt. The reduction of debt continues to be a primary focus of management.

Shareholders' Equity:
Shareholders' equity as of December 31, 2015 was $44,883,000 up $2,126,000 compared to December 31, 2014 Shareholders' equity of $42,757,000. Book value per share was $17.87 at December 31, 2015, compared to $17.05 per share at December 31, 2014, an increase of $0.82. The primary factor contributing to the increase in Shareholders' equity was net income of $4,697,000. In addition, shares issued to directors during 2015 totaled $78,000. Offsetting the increase in Shareholders' equity was a decrease in accumulated other comprehensive income of $2,247,000 and dividends paid of $402,000. The decline in accumulated other comprehensive income was primarily driven by interest rate related decreases in market values of available for sale investment securities primarily in our fixed income portfolio.

Industry Segment Data
Net earned premium revenues for The National Security Group's two operating segments (Life segment, Property and Casualty segment) are summarized as follows (amounts in thousands):
(dollars in thousands)
2015
 
%
 
2014
 
%
Life, accident and health insurance
6,300

 
10.6
%
 
6,374

 
11.3
%
Property and casualty insurance
53,162

 
89.4
%
 
50,279

 
88.7
%
 
$
59,462

 
100.0
%
 
$
56,653

 
100.0
%

The property and casualty segment composed 89.4% of total net earned premium revenue in 2015 compared to 88.7% in 2014. The P&C segment is primarily composed of dwelling fire and homeowners lines of business. The life segment composed 10.6% of net earned premium revenue in 2015 compared to 11.3% in 2014 with revenue produced from life, accident and supplemental health insurance products. While reading this discussion regarding segment information, reference is made to Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements which provides additional segment related information.

The following discussion outlines more specific information with regard to the individual operating segments of the Company along with non-insurance related information (primarily administration expenses and interest expense) associated with the insurance holding company.


23


Life and Accident and Health Insurance Operations:
From a revenue standpoint, our life segment is the smaller of our insurance segments contributing 10.6% of total insurance net earned premium revenue in 2015 and 11.3% in 2014. Premium revenues and operating income for the life segment for the year ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 are summarized below (amounts in thousands):
(dollars in thousands)
2015
 
2014
REVENUE
 
 
 
      Net premiums earned
$
6,300

 
$
6,374

      Net investment income
1,913

 
1,925

      Net realized investment gains
313

 
455

      Other income
3

 
10

Total Revenues
8,529

 
8,764

BENEFITS AND EXPENSES
 
 
 
      Policyholder benefits paid or provided
4,687

 
5,403

      Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs
809

 
1,025

      Commissions
380

 
356

      General and administrative expenses
1,525

 
1,893

      Insurance taxes, licenses and fees
180

 
311

      Interest expense
61

 
66

Total Expenses
7,642

 
9,054

INCOME (LOSS) BEFORE INCOME TAXES
$
887

 
$
(290
)

Year Ended December 31, 2015 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2014:
Net earned premium revenue in the life segment was $6,300,000 at December 31, 2015 compared to $6,374,000 at December 31, 2014; a decrease of 1.2%.  The $74,000 decrease in net earned premium revenue was primarily due to a decline in new business production in both the traditional life and supplemental accident and health insurance products offered in NSIC.

While NSIC composes only 10.6% of premium revenue, the segment makes up 38.5% of consolidated assets. The majority of these assets consist of fixed income investments. Due to the continued low interest rate environment, net investment income was down slightly at $1,913,000 for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $1,925,000 for the same period last year. Management believes the portfolio is well positioned to take advantage of a rising rate environment; however, continued low interest rates could lead to continued moderate declines in interest income.

NSIC ended 2015 with net realized investment gains of $313,000 compared to $455,000 for the same period in 2014. Realized investment gains are highly dependent on several factors including market conditions, tax position and liquidity needs of the Company and can vary significantly from period to period. The primary source of realized investment gains in both 2015 and 2014, were gains from the sale of fixed income and equity investments.

Claims were $4,687,000 through December 31, 2015 compared to $5,403,000 through December 31, 2014; a decrease of $716,000 or 13.3%. NSIC experienced a decrease in both ordinary life and industrial life related claims in 2015 compared to the same period last year.

Deferred policy acquisition cost amortization and commission expenses decreased $192,000 for the year ended December 31, 2015 at $1,189,000 compared to $1,381,000 for the same period in 2014; a decline of 13.9%. As a percent of net premiums earned, policy acquisition cost amortization and commission expense was 18.9% compared to 21.7% in 2014. A decline in the rate of new business production was the primary reason for the decline in policy acquisition costs.

General and administrative expenses were $1,525,000 in 2015 compared to $1,893,000 in 2014. Reduction of general and administrative expenses in NSIC has been a primary focus of management. Historically, general and administrative expenses in our life segment have run higher than industry averages due to the small size of the subsidiary. This disadvantage coupled with the persistent low interest rate environment has eroded earnings in the life segment. In the second half of 2014, management began the process of implementing significant operational changes that included the consolidation of P&C and life segment operations. This consolidation process is virtually complete and was the

24


primary contributing factor to reductions in NSIC's general and administrative expenses as employees become cross trained and operational areas become more streamlined.

For the year ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, insurance taxes, licenses and fees were $180,000 and $311,000, respectively. As a percent of earned premium, insurance taxes, licenses and fees were 2.9% in 2015 and 4.9% in 2014. The primary reason for the increase in 2014 taxes, licenses and fees compared to 2015 were fees paid related to our periodic Alabama Department of Insurance examination which took place over most of the year in 2014.

For the year ended December 31, 2015, the life segment had pretax income of $887,000 compared to a pretax loss of $290,000 for the same period in 2014. The decrease in claims related expenses coupled with the reduction in general and administrative expenses were the primary contributors to the increase in pretax income.

Property & Casualty Operations:
Property and casualty operations constitute our largest segment composing 89.4% and 88.7% of our total consolidated premium revenue in 2015 and 2014, respectively. Premium revenues and operating income for the P&C segment for the year ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 are summarized below:
(dollars in thousands)
2015
 
2014
REVENUE
 
 
 
     Net premiums earned
$
53,162

 
$
50,279

     Net investment income
1,473

 
1,737

     Net realized investment gains (losses)
190

 
(356
)
     Gain on company owned life insurance

 
3,256

     Other income
620

 
550

Total Revenues
55,445

 
55,466

BENEFITS AND EXPENSES
 
 
 
     Policyholder benefits paid or provided
29,461

 
25,479

     Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs
2,701

 
2,565

     Commissions
7,572

 
7,103

     General and administrative expenses
6,735

 
6,966

     Insurance taxes, licenses and fees
1,906

 
1,826

Total Expenses
48,375

 
43,939

 
 
 
 
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES
$
7,070

 
$
11,527


Year Ended December 31, 2015 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2014:

Premium revenue in the P&C segment is primarily driven by our dwelling fire and homeowner lines of business. The following table provides premiums earned by line of business:
(dollars in thousands)
2015
 
2014
 
 
Line of Business
Premium Earned
 
%
of NPE
 
Premium Earned
 
%
of NPE
 
2015
Increase (Decrease) over 2014
Dwelling Fire/Allied Lines
35,718

 
67.2
 %
 
33,787

 
67.2
 %
 
5.7
 %
Homeowners
23,800

 
44.8
 %
 
23,669

 
47.1
 %
 
0.6
 %
Catastrophe Reinsurance Premium
(6,356
)
 
(12.0
)%
 
(7,177
)
 
(14.3
)%
 
(11.4
)%
Net Premium Earned
$
53,162

 
100.0
 %
 
$
50,279

 
100.0
 %
 
5.7
 %

Property and casualty segment net premium earned for 2015 was $53,162,000 compared to $50,279,000 for the same period in 2014. The primary reason for the increase in 2015 compared to 2014 was a 5.7% increase in gross premium revenue in our dwelling fire program as well as a 0.6% increase in gross premium revenue in our homeowners program.

25


A reduction in catastrophe reinsurance cost (ceded premium) of 11.4% also contributed significantly to our 5.7% increase in net premium earned.

The primary source of premium revenue growth in the P&C segment was in our non-coastal states; primarily the states of Oklahoma and Georgia. Premium revenue in Oklahoma increased 19.9% in 2015 with policy counts up 12.2%. An increase in new business production coupled with the implementation of increased rates during 2015 were the primary reasons for the increase in premium revenue in Oklahoma in 2015 compared to the same period last year. In addition, Georgia revenue increased 12.3% in 2015 with policy counts up 10.9% compared to December 31, 2014. Increased marketing efforts contributed to the increase in premium revenue in Georgia in 2015 compared to 2014. We expect to continue to look for opportunities to increase premium revenue in non-coastal regions of the states in which we operate in order to create more geographic diversification.

The reduction in catastrophe reinsurance cost significantly contributed to the improvement in underwriting margins in our property and casualty segment. The Company maintains catastrophe reinsurance coverage to mitigate loss exposure from catastrophic events. Our catastrophe retention remained unchanged at $4 million in 2015 and we maintain catastrophe reinsurance coverage with an upper limit of $72.5 million. Our catastrophe reinsurance also covers the cost of a second event up to the same $72.5 million upper limit, again with a $4 million retention. In our reinsurance structure, management attempts to limit the impact on pretax earnings of a single modeled 100 year cat event to no more than $4 million and the primary models utilized indicate that the Company's upper limit of reinsurance is adequate to cover up to approximately a 250 year event (an event with an estimated probability of occurrence of 0.4% in a given year). It is noted, however, that hurricane models are subject to significant risks and uncertainties and are continuously evolving. Catastrophe models are only a tool to estimate the impact of catastrophe events. The Company also has risk associated with multiple smaller catastrophe events that individually may not exceed our $4 million retention.

Under the catastrophe reinsurance program in 2015, the Company retained the first $4,000,000 in losses from each event.  Reinsurance coverage for 2015 was maintained in three layers as follows:

Layer
Reinsurers' Limits of Liability
First Layer
100% of $13,500,000 in excess of $4,000,000 retention
Second Layer
100% of $25,000,000 in excess of $17,500,000
Third Layer
100% of $30,000,000 in excess of $42,500,000

Additional details regarding the structure of our 2015 catastrophe reinsurance program can be found in Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Net investment income totaled $1,473,000 in 2015 compared to $1,737,000 in 2014; a decrease of $264,000. The primary reason for the decrease in net investment income in 2015 compared to 2014 was the change in value of our company owned life insurance (COLI). The change in value of the COLI decreased investment income $219,000 in 2015 compared to an increase to investment income of $68,000 for the same period last year. Persistent low investment yields also continue to hamper growth in investment income.

The P&C segment ended 2015 with realized capital gains of $190,000 compared to a realized capital loss totaling$356,000 for the same period in 2014. The realized capital gains were primarily from sales of fixed income investments. The primary reason for the realized capital loss in 2014 was a $552,000 write-down associated with a real estate investment. The realization of capital gains in the investment portfolio is influenced by both market conditions and liquidity requirements and therefore can vary significantly from year to year. Other activities, such as tax planning strategies, may also lead to significant variation in realized capital gains from year to year. The P&C segment was not impacted by the write-down of other-than-temporary impairments of fixed income or equity investments in 2015 or 2014.

Gain on company owned life insurance consists of proceeds in excess of cash surrender value on life insurance contracts. The Company owns life insurance (COLI) contracts on certain management and supervisory employees each having a face amount of approximately $2,000,000 (including accumulated cash surrender value). The Company's original investment in company owned life insurance was $5,000,000 made in 2006 and 2007. The primary purpose of the program is to offset future employee benefit expenses through earnings on the cash value of the policies with cash values ultimately returned tax free in the form of death benefits. The Company pays all premium and is the owner

26


and principal beneficiary of these policies. The life insurance contracts are carried on the Consolidated Balance Sheet at their cash surrender value on the balance sheet date. Cash surrender value at December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014 was $4,898,000 and $5,513,000, respectively. Changes in cash surrender values are included in income in the current period. The change in surrender value included in earnings for the periods ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 were a decline of $219,000 and an increase of $68,000, respectively. Death proceeds from the contracts are recorded when the proceeds become payable under the terms of the policy and proceeds in excess of cash surrender value are recognized as a gain on company owned life insurance. There were no gains on COLI recognized in income in 2015. Gains on COLI in excess of cash surrender value of $3,256,000 were recognized in income in 2014.

Other income was $620,000 in 2015 compared to $550,000 for the same period in 2014; a $70,000 increase. Other income consists primarily of fees related to the issuance of our property insurance policies as well as other miscellaneous income. As a percent of net earned premium other income was 1.2% 2015 compared to 1.1% in 2014.

Policyholder benefits and settlement expenses in the property and casualty segment were $29,461,000 in 2015 compared to $25,479,000 for the same period in 2014; an increase of $3,982,000 or 15.6%. The primary reason for the increase was a rise in reported losses and loss adjustment expenses (LAE) from cat events in 2015 compared to 2014.

The table below provides a recap of P&C segment gross reported losses and LAE by catastrophe event and non-catastrophe wind and hail losses and LAE for the year ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 (dollars in thousands):

For the year ended December 31, 2015
 
For the year ended December 31, 2014
Cat event
 
Reported
Losses & LAE
 
Claim Count
 
Cat event
 
Reported
Losses & LAE
 
Claim Count
Cat 70 (Mar 25-26)
 
493

 
89

 
Cat 32 (Jan 5-8)
 
4

 
2

Cat 71 (Mar 31-Apr 1)
 
237

 
57

 
Cat 34 (Feb 11-14)
 
593

 
343

Cat 75 (Apr 18-21)
 
391

 
106

 
Cat 37 (Mar 27-29)
 
13

 
5

Cat 76 (Apr 24-28)
 
596

 
193

 
Cat 40 (Apr 27-May 1)
 
1,728

 
382

Cat 79 (May 6-13)
 
524

 
106

 
Cat 43 (May 18-23)
 
232

 
89

Cat 81 (May 23-28)
 
394

 
97

 
Cat 45 (Jun 3-5)
 
33

 
14

Cat 93 (Oct 2-6)
 
1,575

 
755

 
Cat 58 (Oct 12-14)
 
25

 
7

Cat 97 (Oct 24-26)
 
146

 
55

 
 
 
 
 
 
Cat 12 (Dec 23-24)
 
249

 
76

 
 
 
 
 
 
Cat 13 (Dec 26-27)
 
173

 
61

 
 
 
 
 
 
Misc cats less than $100k
 
595

 
194

 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Cat losses
 
$
5,373

 
1,789

 
Total Cat losses
 
$
2,628

 
842

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Non-cat wind & hail
 
$
5,615

 
1,923

 
Non-cat wind & hail
 
$
5,902

 
2,062


During 2015, the P&C segment was impacted by 22 catastrophe events totaling $5,373,000 from 1,789 claims compared to reported losses and LAE from seven cat events totaling $2,628,000 from 842 claims in 2014. Claims reported from year to date 2015 cat events contributed 10.1 percentage points to the 2015 P&C segment loss ratio. In comparison, claims reported during 2014 from prior year cat events also contributed 5.2 percentage points to the year to date 2014 P&C segment loss ratio. The frequency of cat events was significantly higher in the current year leading to a 104.4% increase in total reported losses and LAE from cat events in 2015 compared to 2014. Claim counts from cat events were 1,789 in 2015 compared to 842 in 2014, an increase of 947 reported claims. Also, since each catastrophe event was less than our $4 million retention under our catastrophe reinsurance agreement, no catastrophe losses were covered by reinsurance in either 2015 or 2014.

The primary source of the overall increase in reported losses and LAE from cat events in 2015 was Cat 93 which occurred in early October. This cat event primarily impacted the state of South Carolina and accounted for 29.3% of the total reported losses and LAE claims from cat events for 2015 . In addition, we had 755 claims reported for Cat 93 accounting for 42.2% of total reported claims from cat events in 2015.


27


Non-catastrophe wind and hail claims reported in 2015 totaled $5,615,000 compared to non-catastrophe wind and hail claims reported in 2014 totaling $5,902,000; a decline of $287,000 or 4.9%. During 2015, the P&C segment had 1,923 non-cat wind and hail claims reported (an average of $2,900 per claim) compared to 2,062 claims reported during 2014 (an average of $2,900 per claim). Non-catastrophe wind and hail claims reported during 2015 accounted for 19.1% of total P&C segment incurred losses and LAE in the current year. Non-catastrophe wind and hail claims reported during 2014 accounted for 23.2% of total P&C segment incurred losses and LAE in 2014.

Year to date policyholder benefit payments were up in the property and casualty segment due to an increase in frequency of cat event related losses as well as an increase in reported fire losses in 2015 compared to the same period in the prior year. Reported fire losses were up $1,173,000 or 8.8% compared to fire losses reported during 2014. The P&C segment had 549 fire losses reported for the period ended December 31, 2015, totaling $14,472,000 compared to 535 fire claims reported for the same period in 2014 totaling $13,299,000. The average cost per claim was $26,400 for fire losses reported in 2015 compared to $24,900 for fire losses reported in 2014.

Deferred policy acquisition costs totaled $2,701,000 in 2015 compared to $2,565,000 in 2014. Deferred policy acquisition costs were comparable at 5.1% of earned premium revenue for 2015 and 2014. Deferred policy acquisition costs consist of amortization of previously capitalized distribution costs, primarily commissions.

Commission expense for 2015 was $7,572,000 (14.2% of premium revenue) compared to $7,103,000 (14.1% of premium revenue) for the same period in 2014. The primary reason for the $469,000 increase in commission expense during 2015 compared to 2014 was a 2.5% increase in gross written premium.

General and administrative expenses in the property and casualty segment totaled $6,735,000 in 2015 compared to $6,966,000 in 2014; a decrease of $231,000 or 3.3%. The primary reason for the decrease was a significant reduction in underwriting service related fees as well as a moderate decline in fees paid to actuarial consultants.

Insurance taxes, licenses and fees were $1,906,000 through December 31, 2015 compared to $1,826,000 for the same period in 2014. Insurance taxes, licenses and fees were 3.6% of premium revenue in 2015 and 2014.

The P&C segment ended 2015 with pretax income of $7,070,000 compared to pretax income of $11,527,000 for the same period in 2014. The $4,457,000 decrease in pretax income was primarily due to the company owned life insurance benefit received in 2014 that was not received in 2015. In addition, the significant increase in claims from cat events in 2015 compared to 2014 also contributed to the reduction in pretax income between years.

Property & Casualty Combined Ratio:
A measure used to analyze a property/casualty insurer's underwriting performance is the combined ratio. It is the sum of two ratios:

The loss and loss expense ratio, which measures losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred as a percentage of premium revenue.

The underwriting expense ratio, which measures underwriting expenses incurred (e.g., agents' commissions, premium taxes, and other administrative underwriting expenses) as a percentage of premium revenue.

The results of these ratios for the past two years were as follows:
 
2015
 
2014
Loss and LAE Ratio
55.42
%
 
50.68
%
Underwriting Expense Ratio
35.58
%
 
36.71
%
Combined Ratio
91.00
%
 
87.39
%
Maintaining a combined ratio below 100%, which indicates that the company is making an underwriting profit, depends upon many factors including hurricane activity in the Gulf of Mexico and the southern Atlantic coast, strict underwriting of risks, catastrophe reinsurance costs, severe thunderstorm frequency and the ability to obtain adequate and timely premium rates. A major hurricane hitting the coast of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi or Louisiana could cause the combined ratio to fluctuate materially from year to year. In addition, most of the states that we write business are prone to severe thunderstorm and tornado activity with significant variations in the level of activity from year to year. The property and casualty subsidiaries maintain catastrophe reinsurance to minimize the effect of a major catastrophe; however, the geography of our coverage area, frequency of smaller catastrophe events and prohibitive

28


cost of maintaining lower catastrophe deductibles and/or catastrophe aggregate coverage prevents us from further mitigating catastrophe risks.

During 2015, the P&C segment experienced an increase of 3.61 percentage points in the combined ratio compared to 2014. The primary reason for the increase was a $3,982,000 increase in claims in 2015 compared to 2014. Reported claims from cat events increased the 2015 combined ratio by 10.1 percentage points. In 2014 claims from cat events increased the 2014 combined ratio by 5.2 percentage points. While catastrophe events are unpredictable and beyond the control of management, management has sought to increase margins through efficiency measures and improved rate optimization. We believe that these efforts, while not eliminating volatility, will improve our ability to better absorb the impact of a major catastrophe or increased frequency of smaller catastrophe events. Management also continues to improve rate adequacy, reduce significant exposure concentrations and implement other risk management strategies in order to further improve underwriting profitability and reduce earnings volatility.

Non-insurance Operations:
The non-insurance operations of the Company consist of our parent company, The National Security Group, Inc. (NSG). The National Security Group has no material sources of revenue and relies on dividends and management service fees from our insurance subsidiaries to pay expenses. Dividends from subsidiaries are subject to insurance department approval and are subject to statutory restrictions. Subsidiary dividends are eliminated upon consolidation of the subsidiaries in the audited financial statements included herein. Revenues and expense for non-insurance operations for the year ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 are summarized below (amounts in thousands):
(dollars in thousands)
2015
 
2014
REVENUE
 
 
 
     Net investment income
$
76

 
$
76

     Net realized investment gains

 
1

Total Revenues
76

 
77

 
 
 
 
BENEFITS AND EXPENSES
 
 
 
     General and administrative expenses
368

 
484

     Interest expense
1,318

 
1,455

Total Expenses
1,686

 
1,939

 
 
 
 
INCOME (LOSS) BEFORE INCOME TAXES
$
(1,610
)
 
$
(1,862
)

Year Ended December 31, 2015 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2014:
Revenue for non-insurance operations primarily consists of interest on investments. General and administrative expenses totaled $368,000 in 2015 compared to $484,000 for the same period last year; a 23.9% decline. The expenses of NSG are primarily associated with the public listing of our stock, taxes and fees, and directors' fees. The most significant item impacting the decline in general expenses were declines in interest costs related to deferred compensation plans and legal fees. Total interest expense associated with short-term and long-term borrowings of NSG was $1,318,000 for the period ended December 31, 2015 and $1,455,000 for the same period last year. The decline in interest expense is related to a reduction in debt outstanding.

Investments:
The life insurance and property/casualty subsidiaries primarily invest in highly liquid investment grade debt and equity securities. The types of assets in which the Company can invest are influenced by various state insurance laws which prescribe qualified investment assets. While working within the parameters of these regulatory requirements and further considering liquidity and capital needs, the Company considers investment quality, investment return, asset/liability matching and composition of the investment portfolio when making investment decisions.

At December 31, 2015, the Company's holdings in debt securities amounted to 83.7% of total investments and 63.6% of total assets. The Company utilizes the ratings of various Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations when classifying fixed maturity investments by quality rating.




29


The following is a breakdown of the Company's fixed maturity investments by quality rating:
 
 
% of Total Bond Portfolio
S&P or Equivalent Ratings
 
2015
 
2014
AAA/AA+
 
40.59%
 
41.78%
AA
 
8.37%
 
7.92%
AA-
 
3.06%
 
3.03%
A+
 
4.63%
 
3.26%
A
 
4.88%
 
6.56%
A-
 
4.98%
 
6.32%
BBB+
 
9.31%
 
8.57%
BBB
 
14.20%
 
12.20%
BBB-
 
6.66%
 
7.64%
Below Investment Grade
 
3.32%
 
2.72%

There have been no material shifts in credit quality in the Company's fixed income portfolio. The slight increase in below investment grade securities has primarily been associated with our holdings in the energy sector. We have evaluated our current energy sector holdings for potential impairment, along with any other security with a market value of less than 80% of our amortized carrying value. Based on presently available information, we do not believe any below investment grade securities are other than temporarily impaired. Approximately 6% of our fixed income investments are in the energy sector with most of these securities currently carrying credit ratings of BBB- or below. Also, reductions in market value of these securities was the primary factor contributing to the increase in gross unrealized loss on corporate debt securities in the table that follows below. We currently have no fixed income investments in default.

The amortized cost and aggregate fair values of investments in securities at December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014 are as follows (dollars in thousands):
December 31, 2015
 
Amortized
Cost
 
Gross
Unrealized
Gains
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
 
Fair
Value
Available-for-sale securities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Corporate debt securities
 
$
38,245

 
$
747

 
$
1,728

 
$
37,264

Mortgage backed securities
 
15,324

 
157

 
224

 
15,257

Private label asset backed securities
 
6,029

 
24

 
380

 
5,673

Obligations of states and political subdivisions
 
14,654

 
869

 
47

 
15,476

U.S. Treasury securities and obligations of U.S. Government corporations and agencies
 
17,825

 
413

 
96

 
18,142

Total fixed maturities
 
92,077

 
2,210

 
2,475

 
91,812

Equity securities
 
2,420

 
2,590

 
113

 
4,897

Total
 
$
94,497

 
$
4,800

 
$
2,588

 
$
96,709

Held-to-maturity securities:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Mortgage backed securities
 
$
2,395

 
$
62

 
$

 
$
2,457

U.S. Treasury securities and obligations of U.S. Government corporations and agencies
 
44

 
3

 
 
 
47

Total
 
$
2,439

 
$
65

 
$

 
$
2,504



30


December 31, 2014
 
Amortized
Cost
 
Gross
Unrealized
Gains
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
 
Fair
Value
Available-for-sale securities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Corporate debt securities
 
$
37,299

 
$
1,773

 
$
405

 
$
38,667

Mortgage backed securities
 
12,691

 
214

 
153

 
12,752

Private label asset backed securities
 
1,261

 
38

 
3

 
1,296

Obligations of states and political subdivisions
 
14,919

 
993

 
13

 
15,899

U.S. Treasury securities and obligations of U.S. Government corporations and agencies
 
17,854

 
525

 
107

 
18,272

Total fixed maturities
 
84,024

 
3,543

 
681

 
86,886

Equity securities
 
2,420

 
2,745

 
170

 
4,995

Total
 
$
86,444

 
$
6,288

 
$
851

 
$
91,881

Held-to-maturity securities:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Mortgage backed securities
 
$
2,818

 
$
69

 
$

 
$
2,887

U.S. Treasury securities and obligations of U.S. Government corporations and agencies
 
290

 
5

 

 
295

Total
 
$
3,108

 
$
74

 
$

 
$
3,182


As shown in the tables above, the Company experienced an overall increase in fixed income investments in 2015 compared to the portfolio composition at December 31, 2014. Most of the increase within the fixed income portfolio was due to increase in asset backed securities and corporate debt securities. The increase in fixed income investments was driven by positive cash flow from operations which provided additional funds to invest.

A number of factors influence portfolio allocation within each of the insurance subsidiaries. Within the property and casualty subsidiaries, due to the relatively short term nature of segment liabilities, fixed income investments tend to be of shorter duration, typically inside of five years on average. Also due to higher levels of potential volatility of policy liabilities (severe weather related losses), a greater emphasis is placed upon overall liquidity of investments. In contrast, within the life insurance subsidiary, policy liabilities tend to be more stable and of significantly longer duration. In order to match the longer duration of liabilities, investments in the life insurance portfolio tend to have longer maturities and higher average book yields. Also, less emphasis is placed upon short term liquidity in the life subsidiary due to more predictable cash needs.

A downside of investing in longer duration securities in the life segment is that the portfolio is exposed to more significant price volatility as market interest rates change. This exposure to sudden interest rate changes can lead to declines in market value of fixed income securities in a rising interest rate environment. Management currently maintains the life insurance portfolio in the intermediate range of 6.0 to guard against the adverse impact of rising rates. However, due to the necessity of matching the duration of liabilities as closely as possible in order to pass regulatory testing, some volatility in market value of the portfolio in a rising rate environment cannot be avoided.

At December 31, 2015, 3.32% of total investments in the fixed income portfolio were classified as below investment grade. In evaluating whether or not the equity loss positions were other-than-temporary impairments, management evaluated financial information on each company and, where available, reviewed analyst reports from at least two independent sources.  Based on a review of the available financial information, the prospect for future earnings of each company and consideration of the Company’s intent and ability to hold the securities until market values recovered, it was determined that the securities in an accumulated loss position in the portfolio were temporary impairments. Management has evaluated each security in a significant unrealized loss position.  For the year ended December 31, 2015, the Company realized no other-than-temporary impairments related to fixed maturities or equity securities.

The amortized cost and aggregate fair value of debt securities at December 31, 2015, by contractual maturity, are as follows (dollars in thousands). Expected maturities will differ from contractual maturities because borrowers may have the right to call or prepay obligations with or without call or prepayment penalties.


31


 
Amortized Cost
 
Fair Value
Available-for-sale securities:
 
 
 
Due in one year or less
$
726

 
$
743

Due after one year through five years
13,251

 
13,217

Due after five years through ten years
34,082

 
33,294

Due after ten years
44,018